UW Sustainability Newsletter - Fall 2014

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October's SustainableUW Festival was a success

The University of Washington is known for being a higher education sustainability leader, and this October for the first time those efforts were celebrated with the week-long SustainableUW Festival. Festival events were hosted by departments and organizations across UW, including UW Surplus, the UW Farm, Society for Ecological Restoration, UW Athletics, the Department of Global Health, UW Study Abroad, the Program on Climate Change and many more.

In addition to highlighting sustainability initiatives underway at UW, a goal of the festival was to showcase student efforts and help connect students with UW departments as well as outside organizations to advance sustainability. Highlights of the week included Wednesday's exhibitor fair on Red Square, followed by the Sustainability Summit with the Huskies for Humanity dean/student speaker panel, a poster session with Campus Sustainability Fund and Green Seed Fund projects, and the Husky Highlight keynote from Karen Baebler, Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Operations, speaking about the sustainability initiatives by UW Athletics. The Summit was filmed by UWTV, and video of the event should be available soon for those who weren't able to attend.

With this year's festival behind us, we're already planning ways to make next year's event bigger and better. Please let us know what you thought of this year's events as well as any suggestions for future festivals.

Seattle Business magazine honors UW sustainability

The Seattle Business magazine named the University of Washington the winner of the 2014 Community Impact Award for Sustainability in Business Operations. The UW was honored for its commitment to environmental sustainability, including the Climate Action Plan and Business Diversity Program. The magazine noted that the university has cut greenhouse gas output by 15.6 percent and water use by 40 percent since 2000.

"This award reflects the terrific work by the entire UW community over the past decade," UW President Michael K. Young said."As Seattle Magazine noted in its announcement, the UW has backed up its ‘bark’ about sustainable practices ‘with plenty of bite.'"
Read the Seattle Business article on the award.

Also in this Issue
Green Seed Fund
AASHE conference
Upcoming events
New report

And much more!

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Meet Sqwatch

Our new mascot Sqwatch knows how to leave a light footprint on the environment, and wants to help the UW community do the same. The best place to spot him is our Instagram feed.
Learn more at

Green Seed Fund deadline near

With a December 11th deadline, there are only 5 weeks left to submit proposals for Green Seed Fund grants for sustainability-focused research projects! Proposals must contribute to UW’s sustainability goals as outlined in the UW Climate Action Plan, and teams must be composed of one student, one staff, and one faculty member.  Things have started moving on the administrative side of the grant as the committee (comprised of student, faculty, and staff members) meets for the first time this year. Project manager Elise Glassman and Green Seed Fund Coordinator Monica Seeley have been hard at work, making sure the proposal submission and review processes are going smoothly.
Not sure how to get started? See last year's projects for examples and inspiration.

AASHE 2014 wrap-up

The University of Washington was a proud sponsor and participant of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s annual conference held in Portland, Oregon, last month. Dozens of representatives from across the University attended the conference, including UW’s Associate Vice President Ruth Johnston who serves as a board member for AASHE, UW professors and academic directors, and staff members from UW Recycling, Housing & Food Services, and Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability.
UW attendees shared innovations and presented on best practices in sustainable residence hall design, food systems, greening labs, planning and leadership efforts, and recycling programs. During the conference UW attendees also met with regional groups to enhance existing collaboration efforts with the Washington State Higher Ed Sustainability Coalition and the PAC 12 Green Sports Network.

The conference offered expertise from a variety of well known sustainability thought leaders including Annie Leonard from the Story of Stuff, and PSU’s Native American professor Judy Bluehorse-Skeleton who reminded attendees that "we are all indigenous to this planet and we aren’t going to solve these problems tribe by tribe," but rather through collaboration and cooperation, just like the opportunities provided at the AASHE conference.

Campus Sustainability Fund

The CSF is up and running with a newly assembled committee for the 2014-2015 school year. Between the committee and staff, we have student representatives from the College of the Environment, Evans School of Public Affairs, College of Engineering, and College of Built Environments. The grant writing practicum, designed to help students hone their grant writing and project development skills, is offered this upcoming Winter quarter and can be found under ENVIR 495E and/or CEP498. Letters of Intent are due November 18th and Full Proposals are due by January 20, 2015. Please see​ for more information on the application. We are looking forward to another year of innovative, student-led projects!

2014 UW sustainability report released

The UW Environmental Stewardship Committee report is now published. This report highlights achievements and activities from the past five years, from establishment of the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, signing the UW Climate Action Plan and creation of our office. The report includes a "Century of Sustainability" timeline illustrating the University's long history of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Learn about the new I2SL chapter

Green Labs program supervisor Aubrey Batchelor is a founding board member of the new Emerald City Chapter for the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). The chapter's inaugural membership event is Tuesday, Nov. 18, at the Bullitt Center. Everyone who is interested is invited to come and learn about the chapter, as well as learn about the development of the Bullitt Center and tour some of the spaces which make the building a landmark in sustainable design. Please RSVP for the event by emailing Mike Cato at

The UW Green Labs program is also launching a newnewsletter with news, tips and resources on how to work towards sustainability in your lab, as well as features on the practices of certified labs across campus. Sign up now for the new Green Labs newsletter, and if you ever have questions about how your lab can become green, contact the Green Labs at!

The following labs achieved Green Laboratory Certification during Summer Quarter 2014:
Physics Instrument Shop, Physics and Astronomy Building (recertification) Gold
Baker Laboratory, UW Tacoma Center for Urban Waters (recertification) Gold
Cline Lab, UW Tacoma Science Building (recertification) Gold
Histology/IHC Lab, UW Medical Center Silver
UW Geoarchaeology Lab, Denny Hall (recertification) Silver
Wind River Field Station, T.T. Munger Research Natural Area Silver
Roberts Lab, Fisheries Teaching and Research Building Silver
Atkins Lab, Health Sciences Building Silver
Estes Lab, Portage Bay Building & Center on Human Development and Disability Bronze
Materials Science & Engineering Department Labs Bronze
Manoil Lab, Foege Building Bronze

Green Office certifications

Now in its fourth year, the Green Office Certification program will be receiving an update to keep up with recent sustainability developments in campus infrastructure. In order to best serve our offices, the certification will be reviewed by our fantastic campus partners and content experts and amended to reflect the current campus climate. Keep an eye out for the new and improved certification, coming soon to a Green Office near you!


EcoReps have jumped back into the swing of things this fall!

Katie Poppel, a master's student in the College of Built Environments, has recently stepped into the position of EcoReps Coordinator and membership continues to grow. This quarter, the focus has been revamping the Green Greek Strategy, establishing outreach events on and around campus, creating informational materials about sustainable practices for a variety of users, & reaching out/solidifying partnerships with other student organizations. Check the website for the upcoming events, like free Husky Grind Coffee, Greek T-shirt Swap, and movie night, or come to one of the meetings Tuesday at 1 p.m.


    view more events


Don't forget the deadlines to apply for funding!

The Campus Sustainability Fund deadline for project letters of intent for the fall funding cycle is the end of the day Tuesday, Nov. 18. Green Seed Fund proposals are due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11.

Free coffee with EcoReps

The UW EcoReps will have free coffee for anyone who brings their own reusable mug Thursday, Nov. 20, on Red Square from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you're interested in getting involved with EcoReps, come by one of the weekly meetings Tuesday at 1 p.m. See the events calendar for meeting locations.

UWMC Farmers Market

The farmers market at UWMC continue year-round, held monthly in the Plaza Cafe sunroom. The next one is Nov. 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.



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